Behold the Hacky Sack, or 'the 1985 version of Frisbee'

Whether you know them as Hacky Sacks or footbags, you know what they are.

'It's just like playing racquetball — you work every muscle in your body'

Midday introduces viewers to the Hacky Sack. 0:16

Those memories you have in your head of kids kicking Hacky Sacks around parking lots and schoolyards? They may stretch back further than you remember. (It's not just a '90s thing, it turns out.)

In September of 1985, CBC's  Midday reported on a game that was catching on.

Anne Petrie told Midday viewers that Hacky Sack was "the 1985 version of Frisbee," whereby players tried to keep a bean-filled bag "up in the air with as much style as possible."

'The generic word is footbag'

Petrie said the Hacky Sack was the brand name for the product, while "the generic word is footbag."

Anne Petrie describes the Hacky Sack itself and related products to Midday viewers. 0:20

"There's also a book about footbag and there's even a regular magazine which tells you about competitions where you can win up to $10,000 in prize money," said Petrie, holding up a copy of a magazine called Footbag World.

'It's just like playing racquetball'

The Hacky Sack players of yesteryear told CBC they were having fun trying to pick up the nuances of the game that involved keeping a footbag airborne.

Anne Petrie talks to some of the early adopters of hacky sack. 1:02

"It's excellent exercise. It's just like playing racquetball — you work every muscle in your body," said an early adopter of Hacky Sack who spoke to CBC in Vancouver, where Petrie was reporting from.

Petrie asked her if the game had any rules.

"You're not allowed to use your hands," the woman said. "And you're not allowed to say you're sorry because everybody makes mistakes."


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